Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

December 12, 2021 - Third Sunday of Advent

Next Sunday:  Fourth Sunday of Advent        Celebrant :  Fr. Williams

Season of Advent


Today is the Third Sunday of Advent.  The first half of the season (until December 17) focuses our attention on the Second Coming of Christ.   From the 17th (this coming Friday) to the 24th we focus on preparing to celebrate the Birth of the Lord. 


Christmas and New Year’s Schedule


When Christmas falls on a Saturday, the usual weekly schedule of Masses must be altered.  Thus, on Friday December 24th (Christmas Eve) Masses at St. Ann will be at 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.   Masses at Sacred Heart will be at 3:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. (midnight).   Masses on Saturday, December 25 (Christmas Day) we will follow the same schedule as we have for Sunday; namely St. Ann 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and Sacred Heart at 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - and 12:00 (noon).   However since the afternoon of Christmas Day is a Saturday, we will NOT have neither the anticipatory (4:00 p.m.) Mass at Sacred Heart or (5:15 p.m.) anticipatory Mass at St. Ann.  In other words, there will be NO anticipatory Masses for Sunday on Saturday (Christmas afternoon)The Masses for Sunday, December 26 (Feast of the Holy Family) will take place ONLY on Sunday.  These are the directions we received from the Archdiocesan office for Divine Worship and Sacraments.


Since New Year’s Day (January 1) falls on a Saturday, the obligation to attend Mass for the Holy Day is removed.  Therefore there is NO MASS on Friday Evening (New Year’s eve) at either St. Ann or Sacred Heart although there is a wedding at St. Ann; and there is only ONE MASS on New Year’s morning (the regular Saturday morning schedule) at 8:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart.  Remember the obligation to attend Mass attached to the Holy Day is abrogated.  Nevertheless, we will have our regular anticipatory Masses on Saturday, New Year’s Day on Saturday afternoon (namely 4:00 p.m. at SHJ and 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann) as usual.  Mass on Sunday, January 2 will follow the regular schedule. 


Schedules explaining this will be available at the doors of church from now until Christmas.  The schedule will also be posted on both church websites.


Synod 2021-2023


(The Archdiocesan coordinator for the Worldwide Synod on Synodality has asked that this be posted in all bulletins:


The Holy Father has called a synod inviting ALL the Baptized to come together to discuss and discern how we can walk together in accomplishing the Mission of the Church. He wants ALL those who make up the Church to participate: elderly, youth, religious orders, clergy, lay faithful, poor, disabled, divorced, migrants, those who no longer practice the faith, etc.  More will be coming on how this is going to be accomplished at the local level, and what the discussion themes will be. In the meantime, please give participating in this first phase of the synod some prayerful thought. The Holy Father and the Holy Spirit value your input!  Questions?  Please feel free to contact me at jhomoelle@catholicaoc.org. God Bless!


Split the Pot


The annual “St. Ann New Year’s Eve Split the Pot” is underway.  Tickets are on sale in the vestibule of St. Ann after weekend precept Masses.  This is a major fundraiser for St. Ann Church and School, so as Sacred Heart and St. Ann become a new Family, let’s support each other.   Split the Pot fundraisers always work best when lots of tickets sell early.  This encourages others to consider buying tickets as the pot grows.


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


If you are a volunteer classroom parent in the school, a coach, drama club volunteer, scout volunteer, etc  please note that you should have been moved to the Safe Parish program.  Fulfillment of this requirement is mandatory for anyone working with children.  Please contact your parish safe environment coordination if you are uncertain whether you are registered or approved. 


Please be aware that failure to register with and complete the requirements of Safe Parish will result in your inability to continue to work with or around children in any parish and/or school setting.  We have been informed by the Archdiocese that there can be NO EXCEPTIONS.


Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week

Since I live stream both the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and the 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann; I usually manage to live stream both, but on rare occasions the internet is out at one or the other location.   If this happens, be assured that I will make every effort to correct the malfunction before the next weekend.

Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg

Reflection on Scripture:

The Third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called Gaudate (rejoice) Sunday.  We rejoice because we are half-way through the season of Advent.  This is the Sunday we light the pink candle.  But the gospel selection used for this Sunday makes the distinction between John the Baptist’s baptism with water, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit revealed in Jesus Christ.  John’s baptism reminds us that physical washing cleans us from dirt, and we can represent the spiritual washing away of sin in baptism as we employ the symbolic water.  Jesus however immerses us not just in water but in the Holy Spirit of God. 

In the Sacramental theology of the Catholic Church, Confirmation completes Baptism, and by these two sacraments together with Eucharist, we are fully initiated into the Body of Christ.  John the Baptist foresees this mystery by his words in today’s gospel.




Mi 5:1-4a

Heb 10:5-10

Lk 1:39-45


Theme:   The scriptural origin of the prayer “Hail Mary.”





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